BBCHD To Be Replaced By BBC2HD

As part of the BBC’s cost cutting budget announced today, it has been confirmed what had been planned since last year that BBC’s “umbrella” high-definition channel will be replaced by BBC2 HD, to help with their required 20% cost reduction.

The plan is that BBC2 HD will simply simulcast programmes on BBC2 rather than offering a range of programmes from BBC1, BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4 in high-definition, though it is expected that many of the most popular BBC3 and 4 programmes will broadcast on BBC2 in the future. Continue reading BBCHD To Be Replaced By BBC2HD

Changes To BBC HD Channels On Freesat

BBC will shortly be making changes to the satellite transponder that carries BBC One HD and BBC HD. The signal on this transponder is currently broadcast using a modulation scheme called “DVB-S”. On 6th June 2011 they will be upgrading to a newer “DVB-S2” scheme which is a more efficient way of operating the transponder and it creates more capacity from the same amount of spectrum. Continue reading Changes To BBC HD Channels On Freesat

BBC One Goes High Definition

News taken from BBC Trust website

The BBC is to launch a high definition (HD) version of BBC One on DTT, cable and satellite later in the year, following the BBC Trust’s approval of proposals from the Executive.

In addition, the Trust also agreed an extension of daily hours on the existing, dedicated BBC HD channel from an average of nine hours to 12 hours a day. These changes are reflected in amended service licences for BBC One and the BBC HD channel, published today.

BBC Trust Chairman Sir Michael Lyons said:

The launch of a high definition simulcast of BBC One is great news for audiences. As we move towards digital switchover, this is a high-profile commitment to the provision of HD services, which will help to fulfil the BBC’s public purpose of delivering to the public the benefit of new technologies. And this is possible within existing channel budgets, meaning excellent value for licence fee payers.

In taking this decision, the Trust took careful account of the implications of the proposals, including noting that adverse impact on other broadcasters was likely to be minimal, that neither change represents a new area of activity for the BBC, and that the changes can be made within the agreed budget range for each channel.

Despite the overall benefits of a universally available HD simulcast of BBC One for audiences, the Trust also recognised that technical and financial constraints currently prevent additional variations, and asked the BBC Executive to take steps to minimise the effects of this on viewers in the nations and regions.

(Thanks to member ‘Soul4real’ for the link)

Top Gear in HD from November

Top Gear

Good news for all you car fans, Top Gear will be available in stunning high-definition on BBC HD from November 15th.

The announcement was made today by Danielle Nagler, Head of BBC HD on the popular and pleasantly honest BBC Internet Blog.

The decision follows an amazing response to a question Danielle asked a couple of months earlier on which programmes we’d like to see most in HD; going to show that some heads of broadcast do indeed listen.

IAAF World Athletics Championship In HD On Freesat

Press release from Freesat – 27th July 2009

ON YOUR MARKS…GET SET…GO! Introducing IAAF World Athletics Championship in HD on Freesat

Reach for your running shoes and sprint to the sofa, because this year’s World Championships in Athletics is coming to Freesat in high definition and subscription free. From Saturday 15th to Sunday 23rd August, the 12th IAAF World Athletics Championship airs on the BBC HD channel.

Olympic Champion Michael Johnson will join the BBC commentary team to report on the nine days of athletics action – disciplines ranging from Relay to Triple Jump and Javelin Throw to 5,000 Metres. Some of this year’s hopefuls include British runner Christine Ohuruogu, as well as American-born Allyson Felix and LaShawn Merritt.

Berlin Olympic Stadium is the host of these prestigious games and for the first time in its history the marathon and walking competitions will take place in Berlin’s city centre – all in brilliant high definition.

HD is perfect for watching all the high-speed athletic action, with a picture that is five times the quality of normal digital TV. This amazing event in pin-sharp HD has a staggering 1,800 athletes, 47 competitions and 24 disciplines, there should be no need for photo finishes. Freesat + also enables you to record, fast forward and rewind live TV, in case you want to re-live any of the best moments.

Freesat Responses To Recent FAQ

We were recently given the opportunity to present questions to Freesat on those topics we felt were of most interest to you; it was a little bit of rush to send them in so didn’t have the opportunity this time to ask what you wanted to know, but from reading through comments, we came up with the questions below which Freesat have kindly answers. No ground breaking responses unfortunately, especially on those questions related to the broadcasters as we’d need to hear from them directly; but worth a read anyway.

We had requested this FAQ session from noticing the change in viewers perceptive on what they now required from Freesat one year on; more HD content being top of most viewer’s wish lists, as well as increased product lines with new exciting products. We made the point to Freesat that the next year will be even more important than the first, not only in obtaining new customers but retaining existing ones too; we are sure they’ll be doing all they can to make Freesat even better, but don’t forget they are actively visiting this site so by all means leave your comments.

ITV HD had been promoted as “exclusive to Freesat” to help encourage uptake; what are Freesat’s thoughts on Sky now having access to ITV HD via the new EPG software? Have ITV HD decided upon a more open policy or should this not have been made possible? What are the potential impacts on Freesat uptake?

ITV HD remains an exclusive red button service on freesat. It is not listed on any Sky EPG and is only available to a small number of boxes via a complicated manual tune / scan.

HD sales have been a large percentage of all Freesat sales (approx. 80%). Could the reason for this as well as the obvious be that SD boxes have been so hard to obtain from Alba Group? Have Freesat been made aware of such lack of availability and are you doing anything to assist?

HD receivers have made up the majority of freesat sales from day one. We work closely with both manufacturers and retailers to try and ensure sufficient stock of all Freesat approved products is readily available. We are aware that recent demand for SD boxes has been high, particularly in some rural areas and those places to receive Freeview. As mentioned on Join Freesat, we are confident that increased volumes of stock will help meet the demand.

Are any other manufacturers in the frame for developing Freesat products (except Sony)? What restrictions are on current manufacturers?

All freesat products go through a strict product development process that enables freesat and partner manufacturers to maintain the highest quality of freesat approved receivers. We are in regular conversation with manufacturers across the industry and plan to launch new products later this year.

What was the original target figure for sales in the first 12 months? What is the target for the next 12 months?

Our sales targets are not public but we can confirm that we exceeded first year forecasts and are on course for continuing this strong growth through 2009.

Why wasn’t 200 channels reached when originally suggested for the first year?

The economic outlook has changed significantly since the early part of 2008 and it’s a challenging market for channels, retailers and manufacturers. We’ve already grown our line-up from around 80 channels at launch a year ago to over 140 today. We’re continuing to add channels all the time and will be launching IPTV catch-up and on-demand services in the future.

Why content of HD programming remains relatively small, especially from ITV?

HD TV production and distribution still remain expensive for broadcasters. Despite this Freesat shows up to 70 hours of HD programming per week for free. BBC HD has increased its scheduled hours twice since launch and is planning to increase them further in 2009. ITV shows peaktime programming in HD most nights of the week and is increasing the amount of HD programming available this year.

What are Freesat doing to pursue the possibility of additional channels joining, especially those such as C4HD, Fiver and Five US?

Freesat works tirelessly to bring more channels onto the platform. We’re committed to growing the amount of HD programming on Freesat and are in regular contact with broadcasters including Channel 4 and Five.